Mark Cuban (email@example.com
and Todd Wagner sold their company, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo for
$5.7 billion in 1999. Months later, Cuban bought the Dallas
JOGHN Z. RIGOS
Founder, president, and CEO
New York, New York
Can you lose what you never had? It felt that way to me.
It was December 1999. I'd sold my dot-com for $42 million. My two
partners and I each walked away with $8 million in stock. I'd grown
up poor, the son of Greek immigrants. This was a dream come
Then the dream ended. From the day of the sale until the day when I
could legally sell my shares, the stock tanked. I ended up with a
fraction of my original take. Then Bill Gross at Idealab courted me
as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Idea-lab was about to go public.
Theoretically, my options could have been worth $40 million. Then
the Internet market collapsed; Idealab never went public, and my
options were worthless.
I lost everything - twice. But worse than losing the wealth was
losing my identity. I couldn't even think about working again.
Today, I have a certain sense of calm. Those years were the most
amazing period of my life. But they warped my priorities. There was
a time when I was so obsessed with my company that my girlfriend
left me. It was only after I had lost my fortune that she took me